Memorizing the Fretboard: Key of C - Exercise 1


Visualizing the entire fretboard

This thread covers how to, finally & once-and-for-all, 'see' the fretboard & all its notes in your head -- not just those literal comfort-zones you've played-within over the years!

For the key of C, it's broken-down here into 4-sections:

  • Section 1: vertical C-major scale / 6 strings
  • Section 2: arpeggios of C-major scale / 6 strings
  • Section 3: horizontal C-major scale / 2 strings
  • Section 4: triads of C-major scale / 3-strings

How to practice these exercises

Your central task, zooming all the way out is, associating: (a) names of all the notes (A, G, C, etc) with (b) the frets on the fretboard.

It's straight-forward -- but not necessarily easy..

But, if you want a way that actually works, that you won't forget about 3 years from now, these are the '3 secret ingredients'... although, maybe just secret ingredients in a time of 'secret ingredients'..

3x do's:

For each exercise here,

  1. Speak the note names out loud as you play
  2. Play all phrases with a metronome (benchmark: 110bpm)
  3. Memorize the lines

By speaking the note names while you play, your brain will associate: (a) the note name and (b) the fret... then, by using a metronome, the time limit will kick your rear-end, forcing you to learn faster albeit less pleasantly.

Of course, no one's watching over your shoulder, seeing if you actually do these^ things, but if you want to leave purgatory and finally know the fretboard, put yourself through a few weeks of the 'woodshed'! You won't have to feel as 'stuck' on the fretboard, and worse yet -- feel the pangs of not goin' going through this guide from head-to-toe :)

Section A / Part 1 of 1

Key of C: Exercise 1

The first exercise involves the C-major scale, played the notes vertically along the entire fretboard.

To get started, make sure to have a metronome handy -- metronomes can easily be downloaded on smartphones, so there's no excuse!

Next, here's a reference diagram, meant to tell you what the note names are... and therefore what to recite out load as you play..

(C major scale note names)

Finally, here's the exercise itself.

Find a 'base' tempo, where you're able to recite the note names aloud as you play without missing beats or misnaming notes.. with a slow enough tempo, anyone can play anything.. don't worry if your base tempo is slow! It's a place to start. Over time, you can increase the metronome's tempo as you build comfort.

Estimated time: 10 hrs

Posted by blah148

Leave a Comment